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Trucks: Hornaday wins battle of the ages

Ron Hornaday Jr. proved that age and experience can triumph, as the 53-year-old claimed his 50th series victory over the 21-year-old Truck series sophomore Austin Dillon.
Ron Hornaday Jr. notched up his landmark 50th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in 295 races on Saturday night at a chilly Kentucky Speedway, holding off Austin Dillon to the chequered flag by 0.438s.

"Austin is an up-and-coming star, and at age 53, I beat him," said Hornaday, rejoicing in the triumph of age and experience over youth.

The 21-year-old Dillon had swept the practice and qualifying sessions and looked the man to beat on Saturday evening, but Brian Ickler got the better start and claimed the initial lead, and then after a caution for an accident for Josh Richards in turn 1 on lap 5 it was over to Hornaday to take charge.

A second caution came out on lap 22 for an accident involving Ryan Sieg in turn 3 which allowed for pit stops, allowing Truck rookie and former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to run at the front for the next 20 laps when the third caution came out for a wreck by Clay Greenfield. Timothy Peters took up the lead, but the caution was back out on lap 51 when an accident saw Miguel Paludo spin out and crunch Parker Kligerman against the wall, the two cars then falling into the path of Max Papis who was unable to avoid making contact with them.

Hornaday took the lead at the restart until the next caution for a spin by John King, after which the lead bounced around between Johnny Sauter, Piquet, Dillon and Buescher during two further cautions for spins by Ross Chastain (lap 80) and Brendan Gaughan (lap 87) before finally Dillon took a proper grip on things and led from lap 93 until lap 120.

With the race approaching its climax and cycling through one more round of pit stops the lead changed hands to Hornaday, Piquet and then Todd Bodine on lap 139, with Hornaday opting for four tyres when it was his turn to come in for his final refuelling stop.

Hornaday then led the final 11 laps of the race (for a grand total of 42 out of the 150 during the evening) once Bodine gave up the lead for his final pit stop of the evening. Dillon did his best to try and charge him down but didn't quite have enough to do it before the chequered flag proclaimed the veteran to be the winner.

"We gave 'em hell at the end, but the old man whipped my tail," conceded Dillon good-naturedly afterwards. "I gave it everything I had on those last laps."

"It will mean a lot when I sit on the front porch in the rocking chair with my grandkids and I can tell them that I won 50 races," said a jubilant Hornaday about his landmark achievement.




Related Pictures

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Ron Hornaday Jr. celebrates his 50th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory after winning the Kentucky 225 on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.[Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Parker Kligerman is collected by Miguel Paludo, who spins out in Turn 4, bringing out the fourth caution in the Kentucky 225 on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. [Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR]
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Brian France, NASCAR President (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, burn out as Crafton celebrates winning the series championship and Wallace celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane with the trophy, NASCAR President Mike Helton and sportscaster Krista Voda during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and placing ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and his daughter Elladee take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ParkerStore Chevrolet, poses with the Keystone Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton drives the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 13, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney drives the #29 Cooper Standard Ford during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 13, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with car owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship following his fifth place finish in the DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
John Wes Townley, driver of the #05 Zaxby`s Toyota, is involved in an on track incident at the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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